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Death of a U.S. Citizen
June 6, 2021

Repatriation of Remains:

CDC requirements for importing human remains depend upon if the body has been embalmed, cremated, or if the person died from a quarantinable communicable disease.

At this time, COVID-19 is a quarantinable communicable disease in the United States and the remains must meet the standards for importation found in 42 Code of Federal Regulations Part 71.55 and may be cleared, released, and authorized for entry into the United States only under the following conditions:

  • The remains are cremated; OR
  • The remains are properly embalmed and placed in a hermetically sealed casket; OR
  • The remains are accompanied by a permit issued by the CDC Director. The CDC permit (if applicable) must accompany the human remains at all times during shipment.
  • Permits for the importation of the remains of a person known or suspected to have died from a quarantinable communicable disease may be obtained through the CDC Division of Global Migration and Quarantine by calling the CDC Emergency Operations Center at 770-488-7100 or emailing dgmqpolicyoffice@cdc.gov.

Please see CDC’s guidance for additional information.

The death of an American citizen in Abu Dhabi Emirate should be reported to the U.S. Embassy as soon as possible. The death of an American citizen in Dubai or in the Northern Emirates should be reported to the U.S. Consulate General. In the event that a U.S. citizen dies while unaccompanied in the UAE, the ACS unit can help verify the citizenship and identity of the deceased and notify the next of kin. In all cases of death of U.S. citizen in the UAE, the Embassy and Consulate General can assist with arrangements for the disposition of the remains. All costs are the responsibility of the family, as the U.S. government is unable to pay for the return of remains or other costs associated with funeral arrangements.

Upon completion of all formalities, including the issuance of a death certificate by UAE authorities, the American Citizen Services unit will prepare a Report of Death of an American Citizen. This document is an administrative report that provides essential facts concerning the death of the U.S. citizen and custody of the personal estate of the deceased. Copies are provided to the next of kin or legal representative for use in the United States to settle estate matters.

In addition to immediately contacting the U.S. Embassy (for Abu Dhabi and Al Ain) or U.S. Consulate (for Dubai and Northern Emirates) You may contact the two service providers below for funeral or repatriation services.

The two service providers are:

  1. Middle East Funeral Services
    Dialing from the U.S.: 00971 4 273 03 13
  2. GRAFCO, Gulf Global Repatriations and Funeral Services Middle East
    00971 4 335 0492